Since the installation of the first wind turbine in Dunkirk in 1990, the number of wind turbines has continued to grow. In Brazil, there are now 471 plants and installed capacity of 10,374MW.
Whether on land or at sea
Although the majority of wind turbines are installed on dry land, they can also be found at sea. Offshore wind turbines are positioned out to sea, more than 10 km from the coast. There, due to the force and regularity of sea winds, they function more continuously than on land. Due to their greater efficiency, they generate up to 60% more energy than a land-based wind turbine!
Land-based wind turbines are placed in wind farms (or wind parks), covering large areas of land. They can measure from 10 m to 120 m in height, with blades from 5 m to 90 m in length, equivalent in length to more than 5 lorries placed one behind de other!
The wind needs to blow at a minimum of 10 km/h for the turbine to work. At over 90 km/h, a security system shuts down the turbine automatically. A single 3 MW wind turbine can cover the electricity needs of 2,600 people, including heating.
The basic principle of the operation of wind turbines is through the transformation of the kinetic energy of the winds into electric energy in the generator terminals. The wind moves the paddles and rotates the rotor, which transmits the rotation to the generator, which, in turn, converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy. Located within or close to the mast, the transformer changes the voltage of the current so it can be transmitted by the medium tension lines of the grid.
Wind energy and VINCI Energies
Renewable energies offer new solutions for an ever-increasing energy demand. For several years, VINCI Energies has been involved in major projects to produce renewable energy such as wind farms. In 2012, the Group contributed in the construction of Turkey’s largest wind park, a wind farm with 52 turbines capable of generating 143 MW. It has also, via GA Gruppe, completed the connection of the North Sea DolWin II offshore wind park to the land network.